Are you using discipline that doesn't promote character? If so, consider logical consequences. Many parents use consequences that don't make sense. Consider what my friend and parenting expert, Kathy Slattengren, advises.
- Create a logical consequence that relates to the behavior and is not too severe.
- Create a simple logical consequence that is obvious and can be delivered easily and quickly.
- Create a valuable consequence that allows your child to learn from the mistake by focusing on the misbehavior and what went wrong.
I remember creating an illogical consequence that didn't promote character in my boys. When they complained about doing homework in that familiar whiny voice, I'd send them out to pull a bucket of weeds. They "pulled the weeds" and were at the front door in no time. From the top of the stairs that led to the kitchen, I'd check their buckets by nodding my head. They went off to play. All the kids in the neighborhood knew their speedy trick.
Now they're adults. They finally told me their dirty little secret. They filled their buckets with rocks and added a few weeds on top. They knew I'd never come downstairs to check their buckets. They knew I'd stay upstairs to fix dinner.
What was wrong with my consequence? Why didn't it build character?
- It wasn't logical because it didn't relate to whining.
- It wasn't obvious.
- It didn't help my boys learn from their mistakes.
- It didn't help them with honesty.
Here are some of Kathy's suggestions of what not to say or do when your child whines:
- "Stop whining!
- "I'm not going to listen to you when you whine."
- Ignore the whining.
Check out Kathy's 7 Priceless Parenting Classes. You'll find her expert advice on how to use logical consequences with whining, sibling rivalry, and other common irritating behaviors in lesson 5.
If your child has been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, consider the program Stop the Bad Behavior! by James Lehman, TV's behavioral therapist.
If you need guidelines on practical parenting, pick up my Parenting Skills Kit and enjoy the confidence that comes with being an effective parent.
What discipline problems do you have? Let me know what you think by commenting below. I'd like to know.